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2011 in Words

Looking back over my shoulder.

I don't think I've ever experienced a more rollercoaster year than 2011.  A year of extreme highs and lows without the mercy of a breather in between.  Bring it 2012!

We come back from Christmas holidays and the first day back in the office I tell my boss I'm leaving and moving to Greece.  This was one of the most painful and difficult things I have ever had to do as I love my job and the people I work with.

My fiancee proposes the weekend before Valentine's Day!  I tell my family over the phone who are ecstatic.  My dad starts blubbing like a baby and can't talk for a good 2 minutes.  On February 13 I attend my first ever BAFTA ceremony (it's like the British Oscars) - and I actually SIT in the audience alongside Colin Firth, Natalie Portman, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Watson and Paul McCartney.  We start packing up our little flat in Clapham Junction.  My last day in the office is February 18.  My colleagues throw me an awesome leaving do. It all gets very emotional and drunken.  We leave for Greece on February 28.

We're in Greece and wedding plans start to move into high gear.  We set the date for August 27th and book our dream venue.  We live in my parents' loft temporarily (little do we know we'll staying there for the next 7 months). We have an awesome outing at the Tatoi Palace Estate in Parnitha and I see Hurts in concert. Yipee!

My grandparents move in to my old bedroom as they are unwell.  The doctors say that my grandmother does not have long to live.  She is soon afterwards admitted to hospital.  Amidst wedding preparations we also visit the hospital on a daily basis, preparing for the worst.  

After months of visiting different shops, I finally pick my wedding dress.  Which was the third dress I ever tried on.  I absolutely LOVE it.  Later in the month, my grandfather passes away in his sleep in my old bedroom.  He is not alone as we're all next to him.

A week after my grandfather passes away, my grandmother also passes away in hospital.  This is not a good time.  But we soldier on as we have a wedding to plan.  Two weeks after this, my dog of 12 years is admitted to hospital and after 3 blood transfusions we make the awful decision to put her to sleep.  June is NOT a good month so far.  We nip over to Hong Kong for hubby's best friend's wedding.  Awesome.

My best friend tells me she just got engaged! We finalise preparations for the hubby's family who are coming to spend a week in Athens before the wedding.  Sorting out the logistics for a clan of 15, plus 3 baby boys under the age of 5, is incredibly stressful but it was so much fun! Next up: hen weekend in Mykonos!

Hen Weekend in Mykonos

First Half: I take my fiancee to my home island of Chios for the first time, where both of my parents are from.  I have been going to the island every summer my whole life so it means a lot to me.  We go to Panygiri for the celebration of my name on the 15th - and I actually enjoyed it for the first time ever with my fiancee by my side.  All the loud live music and clarinet used to get on my nerves.

Second Half: We have an awesome week with my husband's family starting with the engagement party my Dad throws for us on the island of Aegina. He also organises a bus tour around the island which is fabulous. Our wedding on the 27th is absolutely the best day ever!  I never thought I would have as much fun as I did.  So many happy memories to cherish forever.

Getting used to married life. I turn 28.

Hubby turns 32.  My sister and I Race for the Cure for Breast Cancer in Athens.

Hubby gets his PhD and I'm officially married to a Doctor! We move into our own little apartment.  There are cats everywhere and our internet connection is abominable.  We decorate our first ever Christmas tree.

I go back to London for a week to work from the office and oversee our films nominated at the BIFAs.  We have a record 32 nominations across 8 titles and one of our films, TYRANNOSAUR wins Best Actress for Olivia Colman as well as BEST FILM!  The night could not get any better.  I get back to Athens and hubby and I go on a wonderful weekend away to Pelion. Our first Christmas as a married couple is awesome. We agree not to get eachother presents but I handmake all my gifts for friends and family.  Very proud of myself.

Great end to a COLOURFUL year!

Things I'm looking forward to in 2012?  Going on honeymoon and my best friends wedding!

How was your year?   Feel free to link back your 2011s in review!


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Happy PINK New Year!

My second day without a cup of coffee to get me through.  That's ok, cos I have all this PINKNESS instead!







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Giving Up

I decided to make a rather rash decision yesterday.

Photo taken by Me

If someone were to ask me what my favourite things are in the whole wide world, COFFEE would be somewhere at the very top of that list.  The heat, the milkiness, the smell...the caffeine.  Perfection in a mug.

As much as I look forward to that first cup in the morning, I have come to the horrid realisation that caffeinated coffee is not. good. for. me.  Maybe I'm getting older, maybe I just can't handle my caffeine any more but I've noticed a pattern whereby about 20mins after I finish the cup I start to feel very very anxious, stressed and restless.  A tightness in my chest overcomes me and I start getting crabby with those around me.  This is no way to be.  

So this is it.  Enough is enough and I'm cutting it out.

This is me announcing it to the world.  This is me holding myself accountable.  You are my witnesses and you will help me get through this.

Now to stock up on some caffeine-free herbal teas.

Have you ever given something up that you love? Was it just as hard?


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10 Reasons Why I Don't Own a Kindle

And never will.

Found on We Heart It

As someone who loves to read and is always reading multiple books at one time,  you'd think a Kindle would be at the top of my Christmas wish list.  Not only was it not on my Christmas wishlist it but it will never be on a wishlist of any kind.

To be honest, I haven't done much research into e-readers and maybe once I do, I will be convinced otherwise.  I think the pros are obvious so I won't go into them here, but below are the reasons I won't be purchasing an e-reader anytime soon:

1. Your book collection is something to be proud of.   You can have fun arranging them by topic or colour and they instantly become decorative items.

2.  You can tell a lot by someone's book collection and I love having friends peruse mine. I can suggest ones for them to read and they're a great conversation starter.

3. Which brings me to my next point in that you can actually LEND books to friends and then spend hours talking about them.

4.  I am a consumer victim.  I am so easily taken in by book reviews, advertisements etc.  If I could purchase a book and have it within my reading grasp within seconds, I'd hate to think of the potential damage caused to my bank balance.

5.  You can use a real-life PEN to actually WRITE real-life notes on the side.  Truth be told, I almost NEVER write in my books but I like to keep my options open. 

6.  Is there anything more exciting than getting that Amazon box in the post filled with new goodies to read?!

7.  I already spend so much of my time reading a screen.  I don't need to be doing that during my downtime as well.

8.  Book covers = pretty.  So useful to judge them by.

9. Bookstores and libraries.  If I had all the time in the world I'd spend it surrounded by books.  I hate hate clothes shopping but try keeping my out of a bookstore.

10.  My absolute favourite thing about books: they smell WONDERFUL.  Reading a book is as much a sensory experience for me as it is about the story itself.  Dipping my nose deep into the folds of old and new books is one of my favourite things to do.  You'll often see me flicking the pages quickly in front of my face as I breathe in the glorious smell.   Feeling the paper as I turn the pages and then the corners to save my spot - it's almost a ritualistic thing.  And I love the sense of achievement you get when you see the turned corners move further down the pages as you near the end.

Although... I said similar things about switching over from CDs to digital downloads and now I can't remember the last time I bought a CD....

Only time will tell.  But for the moment, I am sticking firmly with the bricks and mortar variety of reading.

Where do you stand on the Kindle vs. Real Books debate?


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2012: The Year of Getting Things Done

Let's party like it's 2012.
Now that my belly is happily full and my recycling bin is full of wrapping paper I've got myself thinking about the new year ahead.  Like many folk out there I'm not one for making resolutions and sticking to them.  But somehow, someway, it makes me feel better to write a list of everything I want to achieve in the coming year.  I am a list maker after all.

In no particular order, here are my...

Goals for the next 6 months:

1.  Finish the mammoth Atlas Shrugged.
2.  Get my 'About Me' page up and running.
3.  Paint something and hang it up.  In other words: be more creative.
4.  Join the gym. Again.
5.  Register my company and get the website up and running.  This is a biggie.
6.  Get a production plan together for the movie we're hoping to make in the summer.
7.  Book our honeymoon...finally.
8.  Buy a rug for our dining room.
9. Grow at least 3 potted flowers from seeds.

Goals for the whole year:

1.  Have at least 6 pieces of wall art in our house.
2.  Reach 100 followers either on Twitter, Google Friend Connect or Bloglovin'.  I'm not ambitious, just realistic.
3.  Post at least 5 times a week.
4.  Go to the gym at least 3 times a week.
5.  Drink at least 1.5 litres of water a day.
6.  Eat at least 5 pieces of fruit and veg a day.  This one is SO hard.
7.  Cook/bake at least once a week.
8.  Make sure to stay connected with friends.
9.  Start saving!
10.  Initiate more romance.
11.  Be that little bit nicer to people by being more aware of my actions and words.

And last but not least, always remember to...


What's your biggie resolution this year?


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Merry Christmas One and All!


via Meadowbrook Farm Blog

I wish you all a very happy time with your families and loved ones full of love, laughter and warmth.

Bring on 2012!

Our Happy Christmas Home

Sweet home.

I've spent all day in the kitchen today filling our house with happy Christmas smells.  I've finally gotten round to making the coffee syrups I mention in this post.  And oh how LOVELY the house doth smell!  Next up: chocolate truffles.

While I waited for my syrups to get syrupy I did some more decorating.  I can't get enough of white fairy lights and I think I might keep them up all year round.

This is our first Christmas as a married couple in our own home, so I wanted to put a bit more effort in than I usually do (I'm not one for traditions) and I'm so happy I did!

Are you feeling in the Christmas mood yet?


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Yummy Christmas


My best friend is coming over from Cyprus for the holidays and has invited a whole bunch of us over on Christmas Eve for rack of lamb and board games.  We're all bringing something to add to the buffet so I'm torn as to which one of each of the below savoury and sweet options I should make and bring.  Click on the pictures to be taken through to the recipes.


Creamy Potato Gratin from Nigella Lawson at The Food Network

Pumpkin Soup with Chili Cran-Apple Relish from The Food Network


Chocolate Raspberry Liqueur and Rum Truffles from GoMakeMe

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes from Darla at Bakingdom

Eggnog Custard Pie from The Food Network

Which combo would you go for?


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A Very Last Minute Christmas

Still got some gifts to buy?

Why not consider making your gift:

Christmasy Coffee Syrups.  Why go to Starbucks when you can make these for 1/3 of the price! Eggnog, Gingerbread and Pumpkin Spice lattes whenever your heart desires them.

Make a pomander if you're going for a house visit.  It will make their house smell lovely for the evening!

Homemade Christmas truffles with holiday sprinkles as inspired by Emily at Cupcakes and Cashmere.

If all else fails, check out these awesomest of awesome lists of 101 Handmade Gift Tutorials from 

Or, you can purchase these quick and easy useful gifts:

UGG-style slippers from Accessorize.

Yankee Candles - because WHO doesn't love them???

If you're going to buy one book this season make it The Happiness Project.  A nice, inspiring, non-gender specific lift me up!

You may not be able to order this in time for Christmas but it is one awesome *late* pressie.  The Year in Yes Calendar will give the gift of well-organised time in beautiful reusable packaging.

A Gift Card from Flight Centre UK.

An herb pot, because herbs are a gift that keep on giving.

An Amazon Gift Card because I know I'd LOVE this.

Magazine Subscription.  You can purchase a whole bunch from Amazon here.


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I'm Dreaming...

...of a girly Christmas!

Last night was the perfect end to a wonderfully Christmassy weekend.  I saw one of my good friends on Saturday for some guilt-free window shopping, which also very helpfully gave my some good ideas for last minute gifts (I'm thinking UGG-style slippers from Accessorize.  They're the best purchase I've made in the last year!).

 We then slipped into a cosy dark cinema for some Tom Cruise action in Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol (it was surprisingly enjoyable!) followed by some frozen yoghurt at Yoo Moo (I got the natural yoghurt flavour topped with strawberries, marshmallows and brownies.  For anyone living in Athens Greece, there's one in Glyfada.  Check it.).

Our night did not end there. We passed by the DVD rental store, picked up two movies and went home for another cosy night in on the sofa with the preposterous but star studded Your Highness (GOD awful!).  My sis and her boyfriend came along with their adorable bison-frise, Poppy, and a fresh batch of cookies.  Pure awesomeness.

Last night was the icing on the cake.  We went over to my cousin's house to decorate her tree, along with her cat and French bulldog.  We had crimbo music on, lots of girly gossip and too many cakes for our own good.

When all was done and dusted, I came home to a homemade chicken stew made by my wonderful hubby.

A perfectly blissful weekend.

Can I tell you what I'm looking forward to the MOST this Christmas though?  Take a gander:


What are you looking forward to most this holiday season?


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Moody December Day

This is kind of what it looks like outside today...

via We Heart It

Minus the vast fields and rundown shed.  It is a moody moody day outside.  Just as it should be in December.  Perfect stay-indoors weather cuddled up on the sofa with a warm cup of cocoa and Hitchcock on TV.  Whilst I don't get to watch Rope for about the 5th time, I am lucky enough to stay at home as this is where I work from.  

Oh, working from home definitely has its perks: endless hours of MTV's Disaster Date on in the background; my fluffy UGG style slippers to keep my toes toasty AND I get to do a quick tidy-up when I get that sudden (yet rare) urge. 

But I have to say that I miss working in an office the most during this time of year. Christmas music on the radio, mince pies in the kitchen, empty desks and silent phones.  There's usually very few people in the office as we, and everyone else in London, would wind down for the holidays.  It was most definitely not the most productive of times. The less demanding days meant that we could just goof off with eachother.  And it was all legit - 'cause we were at work!  I got along really well with my colleagues and every day spent with them in the office was an absolute treat. 

I do get lonely at home sometimes and I fear my social skills are seriously starting to deteriorate.  But it doesn't take me long to remind myself that I have a pretty sweet deal going on here.  I may not be in the same room as my colleagues but the constant email threads between us are enough to have me chuckling for a very long time...

What's your office like during the holidays? Good, bad, ugly?


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Oh Nigella!

How do you cook the way you do and look the way you do?

If you have not yet heard of Nigella Lawson I urge you to look her up immediately.  she's the author of How to Be a Domestic Goddess: Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking and creator of some of the most delectable, mouth-watering, calorie-infused gastronimic delights.  And all this whilst looking like hotness just got hotter.  A successful business-woman (according to Wikipedia she's worth 15million GBP - EEP!) and mother of two she is definitely one of my absolute role models.

The lady you see before you is 51!!  And she eats whatever the heck she wants! What does that tell you?

She recently guest-edited an issue of UK's weekly free magazine, Stylist, gracing their cover dripping in salted caramel (I would!). 

The Nigella Issue

You absolutely MUST check out her interview inside as well as her 10 exclusive recipes for the magazine.  Some of my faves are: Spinach and Coconut Soup, Pork Steak with Port and Figs and Nutella Cheesecake.

 You can read the whole issue of Stylist here.  And don't forget to sign up to their daily dose of goodness, Emerald St.

Do you have any awesome female idols? Please share!


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Weekend Getaway

Off to the mountains we go.

Now that we have the blessed internet back in our lives, I predict a lot less time actually "spending" it with my hubby.  We will both continue our love affairs with our computer screens.  It's not right, I know.  Perhaps we should implement a no-computers after 6pm rule?  Not sure how we'll tackle that one.

I am pleased to say though that we had a lovely little weekend getaway to the not-much-visited mountainous region of Pelion in Northern Greece.  With an abundance of lovely food, burning wood fires, fallen leaves, imposing moutainsides and moody beaches we have come back thoroughly refreshed.

We came across these puppies and their Mama in the middle of the road!

Back to the grindstone for both of us now.  Although we have a lovely few weeks ahead with best friends coming to visit from afar and, of course, Christmas to look forward to.

Huge thanks to for saving me from a silent day at home in front of my laptop today!


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My Life Now in Pictures...

I've been away in dreary London for a week...

Went over for work and to oversee our films at the BIFAs (British Independent Film Awards. P.S. - Our very own Tyrannosaur won best British Film! Go see it. Now.) so I have been missing this ol' blogosphere quite terribly.  Not to mention that I feel wholy ashamed that my last post was about Thanksgiving. Oh dear.

Well, I'm back in sunny Athens now.  Our Christmas tree has been duly decorated.  Our christmassy smelly Yankee candles are lit.  And I'm ready to take on the holiday season...

Bring it.

Ye Ol' Christmas Tree

What happens when you eat a whole Terry's Chocolate Orange? We shall soon find out.

Saw this on my walk to work this morning. It made me happy.

So what stage are you at in your holiday prep? Do not tell me your Christmas shopping is already done...


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Maria Loves...Thanks and Giving!

Happy and all!

Although we now live in Greece, I was born in the US and my family has done a darn fine job of keeping the tradition of Thanksgiving alive in our home.  That said, my mom just emailed me the menu for tonight's festivities and I am already salivating.

But until tonight, here are a few things I've been loving on the interwebs this week:

Die-hard coffee fan like me?  Check out Elsie's Homemade Coffee Syrups. Caramel, raspberry and vanilla. Oh my!  This would make one awesome gift.

I started my Christmas shopping yesterday and my hunt on Etsy for the cutest iPad sleeve for my bessie has got me hankering for an iPad of my very own.  Purely just to dress it in this lovely.

My sister's boyfriend is constantly pulling a Michael Scott on us by saying, 'That's What She Said'.  I don't think a more appropriate gift has ever existed.

Get a daily email from with super awesome sales on super awesome design items.  They are completely awesome and completely affordable.


And now for some yummy pumpkin-flavoured treats to get you in the mood.

Pumpkin Bread with Cinnamon Topping from Bakingdom

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake from A Beautiful Mess

Pumpkin Donuts from Annie Eats

Pumpkin Waffles from Fancy House Road

Happy Thanksgiving All! And don't forget to:


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A Sad Day Indeed


From We Heart It

Today, I received a call which confirmed my biggest fears.  My MacBook is broken.  It can be repaired but it will take at least another week.  With my leaving for work in London on Sunday, the thought of going over there sans laptop is devastating.  My whole life (not to mention all of my work) is on that precious piece of technology.  And with no internet in our new flat and now no laptop, what am I to do?!

Many people would be grateful for the unexpected increase in free time.  I have decided to CHOOSE  to be one of these people!

And this is what I plan to do with me newly acquired free time and I will look exactly like this while I'm doing it:

Found on We Heart It

If you were suddenly given an unexpected amount of free time, what would you do with it dear bloggers?


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10 Things I'm Grateful For..

In our new home.

      1.  Space.  Having our own little bit of it!  After living in the loft of my parents’ home for
      7 months it’s such a breath of fresh air (lliterally) to be away from my mom’s cigarette smoke!  Although we will undoubtedly miss her cooking. 

2.  Birds.  We can hear them chirping all day long.  It feels like spring no matter the weather! 

Our cosy living room
       3.  Ground Floor.   This does mean that we’re level with the cars which can be super  duper annoying but it also means that we have crazy foliage outside our windows and our very own (big) outdoor space.  Can’t wait to tend to flowers and herb pots.     

       4.  No internet.  For another two weeks at most. This means I get to catch up on quiet time and writing. Blogs.  I love them, but man, are they distracting!   

       5.  Wall Art.  I can't wait to hammer nails into walls.  Don’t think I’ve ever done it in our own home. I’m looking forward to hanging photos of our wedding day and all matter of pretty prints and some such I find.

Cosy dining room
       6 .  Close to home.  We’re literally a stone’s throw away from my mom and my sister’s place.  So while we don’t get the cigarette smoke we still have easy access to the droolsome cooking. Spoilt? Me? Never!

       7.  Bike. There’s a handy little area just outside our front door where I can     lock up the bike.  Instead of leaving it all the way down in my parents’ garage. 6 floors down and all on its lonesome.

Cosy bedroom

      8.  Food.  The grocery store it’s right round the corner.  And it’s one of those nifty ones where you can find stuff you can’t anywhere else.  Like marmite and cheddar cheese!  We’ll never go hungry.

      9.  Space, Part 2.  And by this I mean storage space.  There’s lots of it. And thank goodness for that, cos we have LOTS of stuff to fill it with.  Nothing like a clutter-free house.

  10. Cats.  So many of them walking around, protecting the house, doing cat-things.  I’m   more of a dog person myself but it’s still somewhat nice to be surrounded by furry animals all day long. 

       It really isn't much to look at right now, but with a bit of TLC we'll get there! 


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